Former Creston native, Tiffany Tauscheck, has been awarded an international “40 Under 40 Award” for economic development.
Tauscheck, a 1997 Creston High School graduate, who works as chief strategy officer for Greater Des Moines Partnership, a economic and community development organization, was one of 40 recipients selected from 229 candidates worldwide.
During the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Tauscheck’s work as the leader of an investor campaign was highlighted during the event. Tauscheck’s efforts have attracted a record number of new investors to the Des Moines area and increased investor contributions by 19 percent.
“They also said I had more individual nominations than other nominees, and that really stood out,” said Tauscheck. “That really spoke to them saying that there was strong community support around me and my future.”
Tauscheck described Greater Des Moines Partnership as a regional Chamber of Commerce organization.
“We have 24 Chambers that are part of our organization, so we have 6,400 members and 340 investors. That makes us the fourth largest Chamber of Commerce in the country.”
Tauscheck’s project produce tangible results that individuals can see.
“Most recently, I helped with the fundraising and development of a new skate park downtown,” said Tauscheck. “They’ve broken ground on that and it will be opened up later this year. It will be the second largest skate park in the country. One of the fun elements of that is there is also a proposed public art piece that will be skateable that will be placed in the park.”
Tauscheck said the award is a testament to her team and the community of Des Moines as a whole because although she leads the projects, it is her team and members of the community that do the work.
In retrospect, Tauscheck said when she was in high school, she never imagined she would be where she is now, let alone winning an international award.
“As a kid, I wanted to be Paula Zahn,” she said. “We were mostly encouraged to watch the news and educational programs, so most of what I was exposed to via TV was specifically Paula Zahn and the evening news, so I really learned a lot and enjoyed the idea of a career where you could share stories and tell the stories of individuals on a large scale.”
The idea of telling a story that would reach a large audience was compelling to Tauscheck, so school counselors and her speech teacher encouraged her to attend Drake University, which had a broadcast news and journalism program.
When she graduated from Drake, Tauscheck worked in television and radio.
“It’s been quite the winding path to land in my current role as chief strategy officer of the Greater Des Moines Partnership,” said Tauscheck. “It’s certainly not a role I expected or even knew existed as a kid in Creston.”
Tauscheck said the secret to her success lies in the people she works with and the community she serves.
“We’ve had great success in developing projects because so many people have great ideas,” said Tauscheck. “Good ideas and great ideas are supported. People get excited about them. I think so much of it is about leadership and not always necessarily looking to the leaders that you’re always looking to, but looking more broadly. Who are those new faces and new voices, and even new residents, you can bring to the table? Get them involved because we all have different ideas and different perspectives, and when we’re all working together on a project to push something forward, it gets done a lot faster.”